According to some studies, around half of all jobs keep people on their feet for the majority of their work day. This kind of prolonged standing or walking can cause pain, swelling, inflammation, reduced circulation, and medical conditions like plantar fasciitis. That’s a lot of sore, tired feet.
Foot massage has long been known to have all these benefits along with increasing circulation and stimulating muscles to reduce tension. Taking time to pamper your weary feet can relieve pain, reduce stress, and restore your feet so they’re ready to be back up and moving later.
On average, a professional foot massage is around $35 before tip. It’s about the same for a pedicure–and you know the best part of a pedicure is the massage. If you were to get a good professional foot rub down just once a month it would cost you almost $500 by the end of the year. But just because you don’t have the time, or the funds, to get to the spa or nail salon on a regular basis doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from some pampering in your own home.
Foot baths bring the comfort and luxury of the spa into your home in an easier and much more affordable way. These small tubs mimic the action of the foot baths you find built into professional pedicure chairs. You can see in my Best Pedicure Chairs guide that some professional pedicure chairs use these exact foot spas incorporated into the larger chair form.
Would you benefit from a foot spa? If you have tired feet, aching feet, then likely yes. However, there are some folks who should probably check in with their doctor before using a foot spa. Put a call into your doctor if you’re diabetic, pregnant, or have chronic foot conditions or open wounds. Just to be safe.
How to choose the foot spa that’s right for you.
Ignore the hype. Don’t put too much stock into claims that any foot bath is going to detox your feet or prevent injuries. Foot spas have a huge range of benefits, but claims like these tend to be bogus. It’s also important to understand that unless you’re willing to have a professional install a pedicure chair into your plumbing, no home foot spa is going to have the power of the full-size models at the salon. That expectation accounts for some people feeling disappointed with their foot spa. Expect a relaxing, stimulating hot foot soak, but not a mini jacuzzi.
The right size. The majority of foot spas are built to hold up to a size 12 in men’s shoes but they do range in size from model to model. If you have large feet, be sure to make note of the size of the foot bath so your feet can fit comfortable without overflowing the tub.
Convenient. Depending on your preference, you probably want something that is easy to set up, empty, and clean. Certain foot spas are built to be more user-friendly than others and require less work on your part. For example, some foot spas have a built-in drainage pipe while others will need to lifted and poured out.
Does it have the features you want? This is the exciting part–all the neat features and gadgets that produce those relaxing, soothing sensations. Not all foot spas will have all of these so make note of which ones are a deal-breaker so you can more easily narrow down the list.
Most foot spas offer some sort of heat feature but at varying levels. Some will have a maintenance heat coil that will keep the hot water you’ve added to the bath warm, but won’t heat up cold water to the temperature you need. Others are able to take room temperature water and bring it up to the perfect temperature for you. Having a temperature gauge, beyond off and on, with control over how hot the water gets is another perk to look for.
When we think of professional pedicure foot spas, we think of those jacuzzi jets. At this scale those exact jets aren’t possible, but some foot spas can reproduce those jets in a smaller form.
This has a cascade of water that softly pours over your feet as they soak. Sound relaxing? It is.
A few models have motorized massage rollers and turn and rub your feet. You’re able to control the pressure by how much you press down.
More often you’ll find foot spas with textured rollers similar to massage rollers, but they don’t move on their own. These are great for moving the arches of you over especially if you have plantar fasciitis.
The perfect time for using a pumice stone to remove dry skin is after a good soak and some units have pumice stone insert to make it even easier.
While dried flowers or bath salts can make your soak even more relaxing, adding these things can mess with the jets or other works in your foot spa. To solve this problem, many foot spas have built-in containers, like tea diffusers, that you can fill with relaxing herbs that won’t mess up your tub and are way easier to clean up.
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for in a foot spa, let’s break down the best on the market so you can see which best matches your requirements.
1. Brookstone Ultimate Foot Spa
My favorite part of this foot spa is that it comes with a remote. When you need your foot bath, it’s because you’re tired and sore so having to bend down to fiddle with buttons is just one extra strain to put on your back. This foot spa has a remote that controls everything so you can adjust the jets, bubbles, and even the water temperature while leaning back and enjoying. If that jacuzzi feel is what you’re hoping for, this one has four adjustable jets–two from the front and two from the back to help create that relaxing, swirling water action. Along with jets, it also offers bubbles and color shifting LED lights. On the base of the tub there are two rollers that you can roll your feet over to work out sore spots, but they aren’t automatic and won’t move on their own.
This spay from Brookstone has a great heating element. It can heat up room temperature water and keeps water nice and hot much better than most foot spas you find today. Underneath the faux wood cover, you’ll find your remote, a foot brush, and pumice stone. The tub has an overhanging lip around the sides as a splash guard and holds around two gallons of water. The downside is that it can be fairly heavy when you have to drain it though it does have built-in handles which are a huge help.
- Fits a men’s 13 shoe size
- Four jets, bubbles, and LED lights
- Great heating
- Comes with brush and pumice stone
- Heavy lifting to empty
2. Carepeutic Ozone Waterfall Foot & Leg Spa
This is a more substantial model with a lot of bells and whistles to be excited about. First off, it’s nice and deep so you can soak sore legs as well as tired feet. Because of the extra height, you’re going to have extra weight which is why this model is on wheels. If you want to move your foot bath to in front of your favorite chair, you won’t have to carry it there. It works best when filled with warm, not hot, water and is allowed to heat the water up to your preference. This foot spa has a nice heating element and a digital display that shows you the water temperature (in Celsius) with up and down buttons to adjust to your liking. This display also shows how many minutes the program you have on will last before turning off automatically.
For relaxation, this foot spa has a waterfall feature that pours water down over your feet or, by adjusting the knob, the water can be rerouted to two jets in the front of the tub to circulate water. The jets aren’t especially powerful, but they work. You can adjust and activate the bubbles and massaging rollers using buttons on the top of the unit. The rollers rotate with decent strength and the ozone bubbles are nice for keeping your foot bath sanitary. Underneath the waterfall unit, there’s a diffuser to insert bath salts so you can get the benefits of these salts without them messing up the plumping of your foot spa.
The Carepeutic foot spa is ahead of the pack when it comes to drainage. You place a bucket by the spout and press the automatic drainage button and the foot spa will pump the water out of the basin into the bucket. This will leave a little bit of water on the bottom of the tub, but by then most of the weight has already been removed. The cover folds from being a half cover to a full one and there’s a compartment to store the power cord when you’re not using it which is good since this is a much larger unit that you’ll need to store.
- Fits a men’s 14 shoe size
- Extra deep
- Waterfall, jets, and bubbles
- Heats water well
- Automatic massage rollers
- Side spout for easier drainage
- On wheels
- Has a full cover
- Diffuser for bath salts
- Large unit
- Jets aren’t very strong
3. Nursal All-In-One Foot Spa
The Nursal is a nice middle ground of features and functionality though you are trading some of the quality of construction for a cheaper price. This foot spa has 11 mini automatic rollers that massage all over your feet, not just one large roller for your arches. The rollers are removable if you decide you don’t like them. There’s a bubble option but no jets with this one and for things like Epsom salts, there’s a little diffuser on the bottom of the foot bath. It heats decently, but not as reliably as more expensive models. I like the addition of an easy carrying handle and the extending cover to protect the bath from dust between uses. It’s good for the price, but isn’t as durable as other foot spas.
- Smaller than others
- Automatic massage rollers and bubbles
- Diffuser for bath salts
- Carrying handle
- Full cover
- Not as high quality construction
- Bubbles are weak
4. Kendal Waterfall Deep Leg & Foot Spa
This is another extra deep foot spa that has even been called too deep. The Kendal Waterfall Deep Spa is so tall that some people find it awkward to use while sitting on a couch because of how high the lip comes up. For some, that is a flaw, but for others that means that you can soak your legs almost up to the knee which sounds dreamy. The Kendal foot spa heats very well, especially considering how much water there is. You have a digital display of the temperature with buttons to adjust it on the top of the unit as well as on a remote. The rollers are motorized to massage your feet though many found these to be a little aggressive. If you’re been disappointed in the strength of other rollers, this might be for you. This also offers bubbles and a soothing waterfall feature. On the bottom of the tub is a diffuser for adding bath salts as well as an attached pumice stone to work on tough skin without having to bend over.
Being much larger, this foot spa also comes on wheels and has a little handle to roll it just like you would a piece of luggage. The wheels are lockable so you don’t have to worry about it moving around once you’ve settled into your home spa routine. For draining, it uses a hose which gives you a little more leeway as to how you want to empty it since you can more easily direct the flow of the water.
- Much deeper than others
- Great heating
- Automatic rollers, bubbles, and waterfall
- Comes with remote
- On lockable wheels
- Easy drain hose
- Too deep for some
- Larger unit to store
- Bubbles aren’t that impressive
5. Giantex All-In-One Foot Spa
If bubbles aren’t your priority, this model by Giantex offers four motorized rollers as well as waterfall and jet action. With four rollers you can benefit from the massaging motion over double the surface of your feet compared to other massage models. What they call the surfing action is two different water features, one a waterfall and the other more like the spray of a shower head. They get the water moving, but aren’t overly powerful. It heats very well with a digital display as well as a remote which allows you to relax and control the unit without bending over.
It’s on lockable wheels to make moving it around easier and has a hidden handle for when you do want to lift it. The drainage spout has an attached hose to better control the flow of water and reduce spills. The cover folds out to cover the whole opening to prevent the tub from getting dusty between uses. This model is available in black or brown.
- Fits a men’s 13 shoe size foot
- Automatic rollers and waterfall
- Heats well
- Comes with remote
- On locking wheels with handle
- Easy pour draining hose
- Fairly large for what it does
- Waterfall and shower effect weak
6. Collapsible HoMedics Foot Spa
If you’re dealing with space constraints, this folding foot spa by HoMedics is a smart choice. The tub is designed to accordion closed so that it’s flat enough to fit inside a drawer. To prevent worries about stability, a metal bar locks the foot bath in the expanded position to prevent the tub from folding up after it has been filled with water. The bottom of the tub is covered in rounded nubs to aid in working the knots out of your tired feet and the unit has a vibration feature to further stimulate your feet. This foot spa is not meant to heat up room temperature water to hot, but it should keep hot water warm when turned on. The heating element in this one is pretty weak but for the price and being collapsible, it’s a trade-off. The main issue I have is that the on and off button is awkwardly located near the bottom.
- Vibrations and textured nubs
- Locks in open position
- Heat isn’t impressive
- Few features
- Button harder to get to when in use
7. Kendal All-In-One Foot Spa
This foot spa took a unique approach by positioning their features much closer to where your feet go than other foot spas. The Kendal All-In-One has a bubble option and the jets that produce the bubbles are the little white dots in the middle of the grey circle at ball of the foot. There’s one on each side so it’s easy to position your feet so you’re getting the most out of your bubble massage. The heated water comes out of the sides of the center mound so there’s warmth flowing right up against your sore arches. I think it’s pretty genius. The foot spa also vibrates and has two infra-red lights which they say helps with circulation, but I’m not sure how much I buy that.
It’s very simple to operate with a straight-forward dial that controls everything. There are four settings: off; heat and bubbles; heat, bubbles, vibration, and lights, and heat and bubbles a second time. I’m not sure why it repeats the heat and bubble setting but it does. The rollers on the arch of the foot are manual so they don’t move on their own. The tub is on wheels to move it around and the casters lock to keep it from moving when you don’t want it to. There’s a drainage hose on the side to make controlling the water easier but no handles so picking this one up isn’t as simple as others.
- Fits men’s size 14 shoe
- Bubbles, vibration, and rollers
- On locking wheels
- Simple operation
- Nice placement of features
- Heat is touch and go
- Setting knob repeats one program for some reason
8. Continuum PediCute Portable Foot Spa
The PediCute is a very different look than the other portable foot spas on this list. This is a more professional design that is well suited for performing pedicures. If you’re a professional looking for a portable foot spa or you simply would love an easier way for your loved one to give you a pedicure, this might be what you’re looking for. The PediCute has an easy fill and easy to empty lift out basin that you carry directly to the sink which holds up to 1.5 gallons of water.
You can keep your foot spa sanitary, either for yourself or between clients, by using disposable foot bath liners which prevent the basin from getting dirty. The tub fits into a cherry wood veneer base that moves on locking wheels. The base provides the foot bath with three levels of vibration massage and three levels of heat. The center pad lifts up to be a footrest, with adjustable height, making it perfect for pedicures or other foot care. This is the largest unit on the list when it comes to storage so you’ll want to keep that in mind. It’s available in cherry, all black, and black with cream basin.
- Fits men’s size 13 shoe
- Professional pedicure bowl
- Removable basin for easy filling and dumping
- Vibration and heat
- Disposable liners
- Padded footrest
- On locking wheels
- Made in America
- Shallow basin
9. Gideon Luxury Foot Spa
This foot spa has six massage rollers and if that doesn’t make you want to sink deeper into your chair, I’m not sure what will. Only two of the rollers are motorized and will spin on their own and the other four are manual so they roll when you move your feet over them. This gives you a good balance so you get the best of both worlds. The heating element here is powerful so if you’ve been left chilly in the past, this might be the foot spa for you. The temperature is shown on the digital display and is easily adjusted with the up and down arrows. There is also a bubble function and the water lights up with blue LED bulbs for a tranquil atmosphere. There’s a full cover to protect against dust and a handle for secure carrying. The flexible drain hose aids in better control when emptying your basin. For easy moving the foot spa is on wheels that lock so you can set the foot spa in place when you don’t want it to be sliding around.
- Fits men’s size 16 shoe
- Bubbles, automatic rollers, and manual rollers
- Great heating function
- On lockable wheels
- Easy drainage hose
- Large to store
10. Revlon’s Invigorating Pedicure Foot Spa
If you’re on a budget and need something on the cheaper end of things, I’d recommend this foot spa by Revlon. It offers one manual roller in the center for working your arches, which is nice if the idea of having a roller under your sensitive feet all the time has put you off other foot spas. It also has a vibration feature, bubbles, and should maintain the temperature of hot water, but won’t heat up cold water itself. The heating on this one leaves a lot to be desired, but for the price, it’s hard to expect too much. There’s a removable pumice stone for ridding yourself of dead skin and a pedicure tool set including toenail clippers, scrub brush, and pedicure spacers.
- Vibration, bubbles, and manual roller
- Comes with pedicure tools
- Heat isn’t great
- Have to lift it to drain
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